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GIFT or ~ 




POEMS 



POEMS 



BY 

RACHEL ANNAND TAYLOR 



• 



JOHN LANE, THE BODLEY HEAD 
LONDON & NEW YORK. MDCCCCIV 




\ 









Printed by 

Richard Folkard & Son, 

Devonshire Street, London, W.C. 






Romances — I 

The Bride 3 

A Song of Gold 5 

The Queen 7 

Dialogue - 9 

Asleep 13 

The Daughter of Herodias 14 

Hidden 16 

Pilgrim Song - 18 

Arthurian Songs ... 19 

The Knights at Ringstead 28 

Devotional— 

The Common Prayer 39 

Earthly Love is Offered to God - - - 40 

Hymn to the Holy Spirit 42 

Flagellants 45 

The Vanity of Vows 50 

The End of the Way 51 

An Early Christian 52 






CONTENTS 



280381 



VI. 

PAGE 

Ave Maria 54 

Pilgrims 5^ 

Rosa Mundi 6l 

Purification 62 

Love Speaketh 64 

An Art-Lover to Christ 66 

Calvary 68 

Chant D'Amour — 

Desire 73 

Monody 75 

Love's Humilities - 76 

Ora Pro Me 78 

Surrender 80 

" The Water o' Weary Well" 81 

Unrealised 84 

A Beautiful Woman to Her Lover - - 85 

Midsummer Eve 88 

Love's Fool to His Lady 91 

Renunciation - 94 

Left in Life — I. 96 

Left in Life — II. 97 

Outworn 99 

An October Afternoon 100 



VII. 

PAGE 

The Supreme Wish 101 

Dead 103 

Autumn-Song 106 

Saint Mary of the Flowers' • - - 107 

Spring no 

Requiescat in 

Fragment 112 

Prevision - - 113 

Sleep-Song 114 

The Waiting Angel 116 



The Immortal Hour 



Three Fates 



119 



Reveries — 

Spring 123 

The Hostel of Sleep 125 

To Fortune 127 

Death 129 

Fallen 131 



133 



A Prayer to Death 136 

"Whom the Gods Love — Die Young" - - 137 

Body and Soul 138 

To the Bound Captive in the Louvre - - 139 



ROMANCES 



Three of the poems contained in tin 
following pages are reprinted by permission 
of the editor of " The British Weekly," 



THE BRIDE 

All veiled in white and silver 
She trod the kirkyard way ; 

On either side her splendour 
The dead undazzled lay. 

The bridal men and maidens 
Fell dreaming as they came ; 

The bridegroom's eyes upon her 
Were fantasy and flame. 

Oh ! like some strange dead woman's 
Carved on a heathen gem, — 

A great sweet star of evil, 
Her beauty lighted them. 



B — 2 



4 THE BRIDE 

So, veiled and mute, she glittered 
Adown the dead; — and knew 

That o'er her last best lover 
The red red roses grew. 



A SONG OF GOLD 

There was a Nun within a white 

Fantastic town of Spain ; 
Her hair was golden, like delight, 

Her eyes were dark, like pain. 

And once, without, amid the dew, 

Splendid and unafraid, 
One sang, the dead-gold twilight through. 

An angry serenade. 

" O Sweet, now are you dreaming of 

That Spring we kept of old, 
When you fled fast with falconer Love 

In virgin green and gold ? 



A SONG OF GOLD 

Do you remember, Heart-alone, 

That carnival untold 
You flickered through like Passion's own, 

In scarlet and in gold ? 

Do you remember, Penitent, 

(O crucified long-cold !) 
The great white night before the Lent, 

The night of white and gold?" 



THE QUEEN 

The Queen sinned in a dream, 

Never a word she spoke ; 
But throned in reverie supreme 

She sat amid her folk. 

And yet a rumour ran 

Through the Castle by the sea ; 
The knights grew pale ; the maidens 'gan 

To brood right rosily. 

Was it the purple dyes 

Dropped from the splendid wing 
Of Love-o'-Dreams in her sleeping eyes, 

That told the grim old King ? 



8 THE QUEEN 

Merciful was the King. 

Sing therefore piteously 
A mass for the Queen of pearl we bring 
To the Chapel by the sea. 

( A tender and sparkling sky, 

Beautiful beryl-green ! — 
Now Love-o 1 -Dreams ?nay kiss for aye 

The great gold curls of the £hieen.) 



DIALOGUE 

I. 

Ghost JVithout : Dost thou remember ? 

Thy window-pane is lit; 
What music under it 

Stings thro J the wind and rain ? 
She Within : Oh ! Clad in cloth-of-gold, 

Crowned like a queen of old, 
Have I to do with pain ? 
Why should I remember ? 

II. 

Ghost: Dost thou remember ? 

For it is All Souls' Eve, 
Poor soul that could not cleave, 
Poor craven Convertite. — 



IO DIALOGUE 

She : Ah ! Here the Bridegroom's kiss, 
Perfume of ambergris, 
Braziers of silver light ! 
Why should I remember ? 

III. 

Ghost : Dost thou remember 

No colour of the Past ? — 
She: Its beauty hath me fast. 

Beneath mine eyes quaint kohl, 
Far sound of silver bells 
Within my voice of spells, 
Faint sweetness in my soul, 
It is. Do I remember ? 

IV. 
Ghost : Dost thou remember 

The love, the pain, the sin ? — 



DIALOGUE I I 

She : O far-off violin, 

Spare now to vex and pierce. 
What epithalamies 
Of mockery are these ? 
His eyes are kind as tears. 
I will not remember ! 



Ghost : Dost thou remember 

The long strange kisses given 
Beneath a rose-pale heaven ? — 
She : My mouth is purple yet, 

Like to a grape new-pressed, 
A wound upon the breast. — 
How then may I forget ? 
And so I must remember ! 



1 2 DIALOGUE 

VI. 

Ghost : Dost thou remember 

The glory and the guilt, 
The magic moonlight spilt 
Between the aspens wet ? — 
She: Out to the rain and wind 
I come, for I can find 

No place where to forget. 
God, how I remember ! 



ASLEEP 

The waxen taper faintly gleamed, 
And waxen-white she lay 

Upon her silken bed, and dreamed,- 
Dreamed of her wedding-day. 

Her hand upon a scroll was cast, 
Where it was writ in red : 

" Each lover-errant holds at last 
His lady's golden head." 

But, bowed as one that sorroweth, 
The sombre Nympholept, 

The Lover of the Virgins, — Death 
His quiet vigil kept. 



THE DAUGHTER OF HERODIAS 

The Daughter of Herodias, 

She danced before the king : 
That rain of ecstasy she was 
Whose silver and fantastic feet 
Flash down the ways of Spring. 



The Daughter of Herodias, 



Magician loveliest ! 
What music clave unto her, — as 
A star within her love-loclcs sweet, 

A heart upon her breast ! 



The Daughter of Herodias, 



Like waves before the moon, 
Like ringing rimes a dreamer has 
Lured to a lay of lover- folk, 

Swayed softly to the tune. 



THE DAUGHTER OF HERODIAS 1 5 

The Daughter of Herodias, 

She danced in gold and red 
Upon the floors of chrysophras : — 
The light of flaming cities broke 

Behind her sumptuous head. 

The Daughter of Herodias, 

Resplendent, unappalled, 
Wove such a spell, it came to pass 
She drew the soul down sounding seas 

Of pearl and emerald. 

O Daughter of Herodias, 

What horror of the deep, 
What slime of impure things ! — Alas! 
What loathing loathed captivities 

In that abysmal sleep ! 



HIDDEN 

Three nuns at owlet-call 
Tell o'er their rosaries : 
But dreams they drop where prayers must fall. 
And so, not theirs the Peace ! 

Calm leagues of silver sand 
Beside the convent lie : 
The great grey waters builded stand 
Against a great grey sky. 

Beyond the bastioned sea, 
Amid a prick of spears, 
Through almond groves ride wearily 
Three golden cavaliers. 



HIDDEN 17 

Ever the life uncrowned ! 
Never the seal of fire ! 
Nor marriage-music surging round 
The Heart and her Desire ! 

O red wild-roses, be 

Mourners awhile for these ! 
Hidden roses, white and three, 

Die by the Virgin's knees. 



PILGRIM SONG 

Girdles of gold and of gramaraye 

My lady's bosom clip. 
And so I tread this aching way, 

Dead roses in my scrip. 

Her head was like Aldeboran. 

(O Christ, that Star is set ') 
Her voice was a spell Arabian. 

(But shall I not forget ?) 



ARTHURIAN SONGS 

I. AVALON 

King Arthur lies alone 
Deep down in Avalon. 

Alone ! For what fair knight 
Is loyal quite ? 

Could golden Pelleas be lain 

To drowse between delight and pain ? 

Could Tristram's musique here be borne, 
Or the great blast of Gawain's horn ? 

It is no land for Galahad 

Where none are good and none are bad. 

c — 2 



20 ARTHURIAN SONGS 

It is no land for Lancelot 

Where sweet and bitter are forgot. 



b' 



For that proud soul of Guenevere's, 
And her long ransom of bright tears 

It is no land, — where none may weep, 
Between reveille and faint sleep. 

Swung soft 'tween heaven and hell, it seems 
A crystal in a cloud of dreams. 

Yet doth some one pass that way. 
Is it, is it Morgan la Faye ? — 

Saying : " Was it love or hate r" 
Saying : " But the wound is great." 

So, amid the poppies white, 

Long rests Arthur, King and Knight. 



ARTHURIAN SONGS 21 

King Arthur lies alone y 
Deep down in Avalon. 

Alone ! For what fair knight 
Is loyal quite ? 



22 ARTHURIAN SONGS 



II. The End 

" Now leave we Queen Guenever in Ayme^bury, that 
was a nun in white clothes and in black.'" 

Morte <T Arthur. 

Queen Guenevere a-maying rode 

In green and gold, alack ! 
Queen Guenevere God's vassal died 

In white clothes and in black. 

In gold and green I follow her; 

Nor God will call me back. 
For I shall die in Aymesbury, 

In white clothes and in black. 



ARTHURIAN SONGS 



III. Sarras 



" But yet hast thou not seen it [the Grail] openly as 
thou shalt see it in the city of Sarras, in the Spiritual Place." 

Morte £ Arthur. 

Far in the Town of Sarras, 

Red-rose the gloamings fall, 
For in her heart of wonder 

Flames the Sangreal. 

The gleaming fosses ring her, 

Haut dreams her turrets are. 
She riseth o'er the desert 

Like the great Magian Star. 

Through the o'er-castled portals 
The knights ride out and in ; 

Their tired sweet heads all drooping, 
They pray away their sin. 



24 ARTHURIAN SONGS 

Upon the carven causeway- 
Pass damozels in vair 

And samite dropped with flamelets, 
Crowned on their ashen hair. 

Into the Town of Sarras, 

Most delicate and sad, 
Like a measure of rare music 

Came Lord Galahad. 

The Crown of Gold he beareth, 

A dream-king exquisite, 

Till the fair Lord of Heaven 

Yet closer needs his knight. 
• . . • • 

Dreams of the Town of Sarras, 

Ye ever give me dole, 
With dome and steeple staining 

Horizons of my soul ! 



ARTHURIAN SONGS 25 

But where the Grail-Knight entered, 

Ah ! me ! I enter not, 
For hard my spirit follows 

The ways of Launcelot. 

By ruined cross and chapel 

I lie in shameful trance. 
Within, the High Masque burneth, 

The Saving Cup, the Lance. — 



Home to the Bower of Roses 



The viols calling clear, 



To Love's most perfecl Lover ! 
Oh ! Home to Guenevere. 



26 ARTHURIAN SONGS 



IV. GUENEVERE 

God rest the Lady Guenevere, 
For much hath He required. 

God rest the Lady Guenevere, 
For surely she is tired. 

If, in the hidden rosery 

It was so white and red, 
Was it not grey in Aymesbury 

Till the bells rang her dead ? 

God rest her eyes, whereon Love wrote 

His golden Masque, until 
The vision of the Doomsday smote 

And smouldered longer still. 



ARTHURIAN SONGS 2J 

God rest her weary golden head, 

For it was fair to see ! 
The queen of lovers, she is dead, 

And for her soul pray we. 



THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 

I. Regret 

[Of a Knight whose Lady died before he kjiew his 
love for her."] 

How was I to know 

When you lived, long ago, 
The sorcery in you, — that you could be, 
Once dead, a white magician wasting me 
From flaming crucibles of weary spells ? 

And, was I to know 

I could be plagued so 
By those tired hands, like lilies white and cold, 
That flowered from out your falling sleeves of gold ? 
With a desire accurst for them I thirst. 



THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 29 

Ah ! Was I to know, 

Of all fantastic woe, 
Your russet hair was of the hue to stain 
For ever the long night of dreams ? What pain 
That constellation dyes through the pale skies ! 

Nay ! And I did not know 
When, mid the tall flambeaux, 
On the great catafalque, sad state you kept, 
That round your brows, a flickering lustre, crept 
To be your aureole, — my dying soul. 

Alas ! I did not know, 

Who lightly let you go, 
That Death would be a mirror to show clear 
The miracle that blinded me too near. — 
With masque and madrigal I paid you all. 



30 THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 

Therefore, now, now I know 
I should have loved you. — Oh ! 
I lost with you all music, valour, light 
Of things immortal. To the baffled knight 
u Rot on," God saith, "within the foss of Death. 



THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 3 1 

II. The Knights to Chrysola. 

We crazed for you, aspired and fell for you ; 

Over us trod Desire, with feet of fire. 
Ah ! the sad stories we would tell for you, 
Full of dark nights and sighing, 
While — you were dying, 
Chrysola ! 

Rondels and all rich rimes we rang for you ; 

How from the plangent lyre pled our Desire! 
But the musicians vainly sang for you, — 
Though dear the music, crying 
That, — you were dying, 
Chrysola ! 

High on the golden throne Love wrought for you, 
With eyes enthralled of rest, tired of our best, 



32 THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 

You sat unheeding while we fought for you, 
Glaive unto glaive replying ; 
For, — you were dying, 
Chrvsola ! 

Frenzied from out the jousts we came to you, 
u Can we love more, Dream-fast ? Crown, then, 
at last." 
But love and hate were one dim flame to you : 
Strange things you smiled us, — dying. 
. Oh ! You were dying, 
Chrvsola ! 

Great spoils of frankincense we burned for you 
Round your death-chamber proud, — then cursed 
aloud 
Christian or Pagan god that yearned for you 
Till you were underlying. — 
O Dream undying, 
Chrysola ! 



THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 33 

III. Winter 

[Of a Knight that wronged his Lady.] 

Over the snow, 
A frozen barefoot penitent I go. 
For, as I soil this cloth-of-silver, so 
I left strange traces in her soul of snow. 

Thorough the snow, 
A monk distraught with subtile dreams, I go. 
The falling flakes confuse me. Even so 
My blinding love fell on her lids of snow. 

Under the snow, 
The kindly snows of death are hid, I know, 
Her ruined lilies. — God, be mine the woe ! 
My sins are scarlet. She was white as snow. 



34 THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 

IV. The Knight Beauclerc to the Lady 
Gloria 



When that the Oueen with all her maids came 
singing 
Across the daisies, through a dusk of May, 
Their spoils of fairy gold and silver bringing, 
You rang no chime in that sweet roundelav: — 
But held yourself a little wav apart, 
Your hands above your heart, — 
A fair frail image robed in royal scarlet, 
Dreaming of splendours insolent and war-lit, 

Dreaming of crowns to wear, — 
Although your drooping head could hardly bear 
Its crown-imperial of yellow hair. 



THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 35 



II. 

Crowns, crowns of tournaments to lay before you [ 

What was a wistful singer to your pride, 
A clerkly dreamer-Knight ? Ah, to adore you, 
I gripped the lance, and threw the pen aside. — 
But oh ! the crown of song is loveliest. 
Yea ! I have loved you best, — 
Crowned you in dreams with faint white stars of 

g Ior ) r 5 
Kisses imagined from all antique story ; 

— But you as bindweed hold 

My rare dream-jasmine. You would circlets cold 

Of wounding laurel and of bruising gold. 



d — 2 



36 THE KNIGHTS AT RINGSTEAD 



III. 

Therefore I lie here vanquished. Let the victor 

Carry the crown before your red-shod feet : 
Love is a cruel god, — hath many a lic~tor 

To scourge with briar who found the Rose too 
sweet. 

Yon ring of hard bright faces hems me in, 
Branding like bitter sin : 
Yours flashes like ajewel, — crowned, unsated, 
My shame your honour. Thus, then, was it fated, 

O cold unheeding breast ! — 
And yet the crown of love is loveliest. 

Farewell ! Farewell ! But I have loved you 
best. 



DEVOTIONAL 



THE COMMON PRAYER 

O hear the secret word I cannot say, 
And comprehend the prayer I cannot pray ; 
Read Thou the broken poem of my pain, 
Divine the motive of my music vain, 
And know the colour never artist knew 
My crazy imageries yearn unto : — 
O God, of Whom I am the clouded Gleam, 
Art Thou indeed the Dream I cannot dream ? 
Then fall like sleep upon mine aching eyes, 
And hush my lips whose very truths are lies. 
O Love and Lover, light this gloaming chill ; 
Say: "Throughly do I know thee. Peace, be still !" 



EARTHLY LOVE IS OFFERED TO GOD 

Better to Thee the heart of heathen fire 

Than the sour wood that will not burn at all : 

More beautiful the feet that stray and tire 
Than those that shun both fast and festival. 
Shepherd that lov'st the lost, 

The cold and laffcard soul outwears Thee most. 

CO 

Look in the wild eyes of this Pagan, — Love. 

His feet are winged : they loathe the mortal dust. 
Not of Thy making, yet created of 

Beauty and music, splendour, pain, and trust, 
Vivid is he and strange, 
And with immortals only will he range. 



EARTHLY LOVE 4 1 

Christen him to Thy Knighthood if Thou wilt : 
Do on him the Archangel's mail and sword, 

For on this earth they call his strangeness guilt. — 
The starry essence brooks no nameless lord : 
He kneels before Thy throne, 

Thy vassal. Set his hands between Thine own. 



HYMN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 

Written during a Foreboding of Calamity, 

There is a terror in my heart; 

And the brown twilight is despair ; 
And there are echoes in my heart 
That chime to yon great death-bell rung 

Against an iron sky somewhere. 
Yea, from the clouded height is flung 
Into my holy horoscope, 
Ruddy with love and white with hope, 

A blazing dasmon star to-day, — 

I will pray. 

Spirit of God , / cry to Thee, — 
O Silver Spirit, succour me. 



HYMN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 43 

Oh ! Far beyond the iron sky, 

The cruel gods, the Clouded Height, 
Evil and good and iron sky, 
Thou dwellest, Unimagined, 

In the last ecstasy of light. 
But, when the bitter Doom is sped, 

Thy Passion strikes the spaces through; 
Our silver sword and buckler too, 
Our silver dragon-crest art thou ! — 
Now, oh, now, 

Spirit of God, I cry to thee, 
O Silver Spirit, strengthen me. 

The bats are winging, bodied fears ! 

'Tis on the Clouded Height decreed 
I be the plaything of the spears 
Of the Dark Legion. I must go 



44 HYMN TO THE HOLY SPIRIT 

To meet the tortures that exceed. 
And all my soul is burning low ; 
My javelins, my dreams are lost. 
How can I front the evil host ? 
Lord of the Silver Forges, smite 
The anvil white. 

Fashion me armour lest I die^ 
Spirit of God, thy knight am I. 



FLAGELLANTS 

I. 

The Soul is bleeding in Thy sight, 

O Jesu ; and the Body must. 
Shall the slave dance in red and white, 

The Queen lie naked in the dust ? 
We sought Thee West and East ; we ran 

To painted palaces. Oh ! Vain ! 
Thou callest, sad sweet Castellan, 
Up to thy dim-gold keep of pain. 
(Lift up the gates , the flaming gates. 
With martyrdoms and flickering fates 
Wrought over. Shall we dare to flee 
The Fortress where Thou lovst to be?) 



46 FLAGELLANTS 

II. 

Our lips are scarlet, subtly kist 

Of Pagan love ; our fingers fine 
All arts and spells and tortures wist : 

They drove the dagger, drugged the wine. 
Our feet have trod the Venus-hill, 

Our brows upon her breast have lain. 
Oh ! Plague our fair soiled bodies, till 
Their sins are all outburned by pain. 
[Death of the Body we adore, — 
A lady loved as none before ! 
Ob ! Siveet and bitter as great seas. 
She cleanses our mortalities !) 

III. 
The Scourge that once Thy beauty bare 
Shall clins; and cleave where interwound 



FLAGELLANTS 47 

Love's darling arms : our curled soft hair 

With all the Passion-thorns be crowned. 
An evil madrigal, our sin 

Still vexed Thee. Hark the new refrain 
Of falling tears, for we begin 

To ransom peace with pain, with pain. 
(While beautiful boy-seraphs sing, 
Their fingers on the muted string, 
With dream-pale faces, listening eyes, 
Beneath the trees of Paradise.') 



IV. 

Ah ! How we seek and cannot find ! 

Only a colour, — broken light — 
A scent of sorrow down the wind, 

A wilding savour through the night ! 



48 FLAGELLANTS 

Nay ! Not amid the roses, Christ, 

That wound and stain, that haunt and stain ! 
The Soul must keep her bridal tryst 
Mid the great lilies charmed from pain. 
(Then in that awful Place and pure , 
The kindling of the Night Obscure, — 
When like strange tears will he this Past 
That Thou shalt kiss away at last/) 



Lead, crimson gonfaloni. Thus 
We faint and perish, yet aspire. 

Burn, pointed tapers, lighting us 
Unto the Darkness we desire. 

O Passion of the Pardon ! oigh 
By sigh, the Soul is breaking free. 



FLAGELLANTS 49 

Like rent red raiment casting by 
The body, she escapes to Thee. 

(As a great sword the sheath forsakes, 
As flame from lighted incense wakes, 
'The Sleeper sloughs her wasting dream. — 
Love Supreme, Love Supre??ie /) 



THE VANITY OF VOWS 

A soul of many longings entered late 
A chapel like a jewel blazing bright, 
And fell upon the altar-steps. All night 

She held with hopes and agonies debate ; 

With tears the litanies love-passionate 

Drenched her; triumphant colours burned her 

white -, 
And, as the incense flamed in silver light, 

God sealed her to His own novitiate. 

And then, because her eyes were charmed with 
peace, 
And blinded by the stars new-born within 

The lit sweet lids God's dreams had lovered, — 
Nine paces from that House of Ecstasies 
Her feet were taken in the snares of sin ; 

And, ere the morning quickened, she was dead. 



THE END OF THE WAY 

Much have I seen by the winding way ; 

And much have I desired. 
What is the end of it all to-day ? — 

Jesu^ I am tired I 

I met with Love amid the dew ; 

At noon with Shame and Wrath ; — 
At sunset those three gibbets threw 

Their shadows on my path. 

No beauty can I bear to see. 

Too much have I desired. 
Here is a wayside Calvary ! 

jfesu y I am tired. 



E — 2 



AN EARLY CHRISTIAN 

Girt in the panther-fells, 

Violets in my hair, 
Down I ran through the woody dells, 

Through the morning wild and fair, — 
To sit by the road till the sun was high, 
That I might see some god pass by. 

Fluting amid the thyme 

I dreamed through the golden day, 
Calling through melody and rime : 

cc Iacchus ! Come this way, — 
From harrowing Hades like a king, 
Vine leaves and glories scattering." 



AN EARLY CHRISTIAN 53 

Twilight was all rose-red, 

When, crowned with vine and thorn, 
Came a stranger god from out the dead ; 

And his hands and feet were torn. 
I knew Him not, for He came alone : 
I knew Him not, whom I fain had known. 

He said : " For love, for love, 

I wear the vine and thorn." 
He said : " For love, for love, 

My hands and feet were torn : 
For love, the winepress Death I trod." 
And I cried in pain : " O Lord my God S" 



AVE MARIA 

Ave, Maria ! I am tired. 

Maiden Mother, reach thine hand 
Thou alone wilt understand 

What it is to be so tired. 

Let the virgin, sick for rest, 

Like a pierced and hunted deer, 
Find a still sweet covert here, 

At thy feet, O Queen of Rest. 

Earthly pains are hard to bear, 
Earthly joys as hard, in truth. 
Even Love hath hands uncouth 

When the soul no more will bear. 



AVE MARIA 55 

Only thine are delicate 

On the spirit's broken wing. 

Oh ! the languor of our Spring, 
Oh ! the heavy dreams that sate ! 

Ave, Maria ! I am tired. 

Maiden Mother, cover me. 

Thou dost keep in memory 
What it is to be so tired. 



PILGRIMS 
The Clerks. 

The pages of the perfect Greek, 
And all our lovely heathen lore, 

Our pastorals, and gods antique, — 

We burned them, which we did adore. 

Pilatus wrote, that all may read 

Thy Name above the Cross indeed. 

(O hard behest! — Thy Words are best. 

But Jesu ! help us to forget !) 

The Knights. 

We have cast off the subtile mail 

And broken with our bride the Sword. 



PILGRIMS 57 

From sins of violence we quail 

As caitiffs for Thy sake, sweet Lord, — 
Far from the golden great mellay 
That ringeth like a morn of May. 
(O sword and crest! — Thy Will is best ! 
But, Jesu ! help us to forget !) 



The Ladies. 

We left the lute with broken string, 
The web of tapestry undone, 

The falcon with his wearied wing, 
The lilies fainting in the sun, — 

The web of dreamy scarlet dyes, 

The falcon Love far-off that dies. 

(O beating breast ! — Thy Love is best ! 

But Jesu ! help us to forget !) 



58 PILGRIMS 

The Monks. 

Across the litanies there came 

A dream of oriflammes and spears : 

Within the vigil woke like flame 
A dream of kisses and of tears. 

The body for the Soul we slew, 

But Love and Wrath like souls shone through 

The cloister bars. Those flagrant stars 

O Jesu ! help us to forget ! 

All together. 

Now over all the low blue hills 
Winds on the masque of Spring : 

Green, gold, and white upon the hills 
The Paynim masque of Spring ! 

Of all the buried daffodils 



PILGRIMS 59 

Not one hath she forgot : 
But us she quickeneth not. 

Us she reneweth not, albeit 

Amid her revelry 
But yester-April, fair and fleet, 

Her masquers too were we, — 
Singing that we were hers, 
Not children of the Curse. 

But children we of very Death 

Unless Thou quicken us : 
And so we draw this bitter breath, 

And so we travail thus. 
For like a wind Thy Spirit saith 

O'er pipe and violin : 

" It is but shame and sin." 



60 PILGRIMS 

Mile after mile the road crawls by, 

But are we nearer Thee ? 
Against what holy beryl sky 

Shall rise the Crosses three ? 
When shall Thy beauty like a sigh 

Cleanse us from vain-regret ? 

When shall we quite forget ? 



ROSA MUNDI 

The Rose of the World hangs high on a thorny 

Tree. 
Whoso would gather must harrow his hands and 

feet. 

But oh ! It is sweet. 

The leaves that drop like blood from the thorny 

Tree 
Redden the roads of the earth from East to West. 
They lie in my breast. 

O Rose, O Rose of the World, bow down to me 
Who can cleave no more, so pierced are my hands 
and feet. 

For oh ! Thou art sweet. 



PURIFICATION 

I would go down to meet the infinite sea, 
And give my body to the sharp salt wave, 

That it might seize, and sting, and harry me, 
And dash me lifeless in a lifeless cave, 

And there for ever dream against my side, — 

O God, O God, so I were purified ! 

Would I might marry me to subtle flame 
Till eyes and lips were merely ashes white, 

Till with the human passed the human shame 
Of sordid pain and undivine delight, — 

Would all strange tortures had my soul for bride, 

O God, O God, so I were purified ! 



PURIFICATION 6$ 

When I draw round my flesh the veils of death, 

Soaked with the imist of twilight thro' and thro', 
When to the burning: blood there entereth 

o 

The solace of imperishable dew ; 
When I go out into Thy dusk to hide, 
O God, O God, shall I be purified ? 



LOVE SPEAKETH 

Why hast Thou given me these gyves to bear, 

And why this garment of white flame to wear ? 

Anhungered for immortal beauty, must 

I feed my longing on this burning dust ? 

Loving the lilies, mid the tares I go, — 

Why dost Thou plague Thy dearest angel so ? 

Cast in Thine image, moulded likest Thee, 

Thy donzellon, Thy troubadour to be, 

The dreamer of the rapture at the core 

Of Thine own heart, — Oh ! why, then, evermore 

Must I pollute my fantasy unwist 

With strange dim sin, — Love the Somnambulist, 



LOVE SPEAKETH 65 

Driven to sacrilege on mine adored? — 

It is not well, it is not well, O Lord ! 

I yearn to Thee from out the blinding sands ; 

And lo ! Thy stigmata upon mine hands. 

Yet, as I pray, my feet take hold on hell. 

It is not well, O Lord, it is not well ! 



AN ART-LOVER TO CHRIST 

[Towards the End of the Ages of Faith) 

If these I love, what love have I for Thee, 
Since in her treasuries the heart will be ? 
Some, it may be, shall triumph, strong to seek 
And find both these and Thee. But I am weak, 
Unto mine idols am I wedded fast ; 
And with them would I perish at the last. 

(O beauty of great colour, great desires, 
Great throes of music, clangour of great spires, 
Mystical marvel of great verse, great dream 
Of carven faces, and O thou supreme 



AN ART-LOVER TO CHRIST 6j 

Beauty of perfect love, the perfect art, — 
Ye do consume with ecstasy mine heart. 
God's images ? — Nay, for your only sake 
I flower and fade, labour and dream and wake.) 

Not Thee and these ! Thou art too great and sweet 

To brook a cloven worship at Thy feet. 

I do not murmur. Fold Thy lovers, Thou, 

In Thy blue Arcady. But here and now 

I gather all the joy of Paradise 

With faint adoring hands, and soft stilled eyes. 

These perish ; Thou endurest ? — Even so. 

All perishing things are loveliest, I know. 

The Music these, the fainting Echo I, — 

Rather than live with Thee, with them I die ! 

Nor shall thine angry trumpets rend that rest, 

For Thou art noble j and I love Them best. 

f — 2 



CALVARY 

I. 

Faint incense from the lily goes ; 

(O Calvary, O Calvary !) 

Red, red as blood the drifted rose. 

(O Calvary !) 
I wove a glory for mine head ; 

The wind's great wings came sweeping by ;- 
And lo ! a crown of thorns instead ! 
What old old dream dream I ? 

II. 

Over the Field of Cloth of Gold 

(O Calvary, O Calvary !) 
Love leads rare queens and soldans bold. 

(O Calvary!) 



CALVARY 69 

A tyrannous white god is he, 

And yet sometimes his eyes are wet : 

Then murmur I : " Can these things be ? 
Hast Thou seen Olivet ? " 

III. 

I hear a chime of wistful bells. 

(O Calvary, O Calvary !) 
I have sung all my canticles : 

(O Calvary!) 
And there is One that calleth me 

From Calvary. 
The masques and dances hurt mine eyes ; 

I feel the dream behind them all ; 
My rondels all ring round to sighs, 
And oh ! for evenfall ! 

(And where is Calvary?) 



CHANT D'AMOUR 



DESIRE 

Why do I call thee ? Hear the Darkness calling 

All the wild gold plumage of the sky, — 
Flickering and flaming, softly, softly falling 
To the Western dove-cote, dusk and shy. 
With a voice of viols, hear the Darkness calling ! 
So my soul is yearning, tyrannous and tender ; 
Hear the Darkness calling, O thou poignant 
splendour ! — 
It is I. 

Why do I love thee ? — Hearken Death desiring 

All the yellow roses, loth to die, 
All the lovely lovers and their loves untiring, 

All the days of lapis-lazuli. 



74 DESIRE 

All the chiming rondels. — Hearken Death desiring 
So in silver samite like a bride to fold thee, 
So to hush thee, hide thee, so to have and hold 
thee. — 
It is I. 



MONODY 

I. 

Art thou so sad, sweet Soul, — 
Sad with the sadness of narcissus pale, 
Whose delicate odours lingeringly exhale 
By rare brown pools the green-blue birches veil, 
Sad with the sadness, Love, of souls too pure 
Their own consuming beauty to endure, — 

Art thou so sad, sweet Soul ? 

II. 

Love me, too-perfect Soul ! 
For such as thou, stooping to love of me 
Surely a fault, a recklessness will be 
To check thy fatal flame of purity, — 
And yet a fault the gods may well forgive. 
For this, — for any reason, — let me live, — 

O love me, perfect Soul ! 



LOVE'S HUMILITIES 

To think of thee, to think of thee ! 
O privilege too pure for me ! — 
Though I could part the sacred veil 
Within my soul, and show thee pale 

Against a golden light, 
With long hands folded on thy breast, 
Like some Madonna, drawn to rest 

Upthrough a jasper night. 

To dream of thee, to dream of thee ! 
O sweetness far too sweet for me ! — 
To seek thy bosom like a dove, 
To cling about thy feet like love, 



LOVES HUMILITIES JJ 

What earthly dream shall dare ? 

Let mine but hear the cushat call 

Through roseries thy faint foot-fall 
Hath silenced, like a prayer. 

To think of thee, to dream of thee ! 
O ecstasy too rare for me ! — 
Nay ! Thou art but a colour through 
All fantasies I ever knew, 

Love, Love ! — Or wilt thou be 
An odour of hid lilies in 
All dells of reverie I win ? — 



O Sweet, suffice it thee ! 



ORA PRO ME 

O pray for me ! Lo, here thy lover lies ! 

O pray for me ! 
Remember me, O strange ecstatic eyes, 

And pray for me ! 
Beneath thy nimb of sacerdotal gold, 
Lifted aspirant face, O pray for me ! 
Ye long white pointed hands I yearned to hold 
Against my breaking heart, implore for me, — 
For me. 

Then as I lie swathed in my waiting dream 

(Unransomed yet !) 
The colour and music of the Past shall seem 

(O all regret !) 



ORA PRO ME 79 

The great rose-window in a kirk of rest, 

Where in a circumflagrant fantasy 
Of rose and gold and green, thou flowerest, 
To pray for all sick souls, to pray for me — 
For me. 



SURRENDER 

I strove, and strove with Fate. I leave my throne 

Of proud virginity, pearl-pale, apart, 
Where I have loved to sit and hark alone 

The dim pure pulses of my dreaming heart. 
Behold ! most impotent kisses must I rain 
From lips for Death kept sweet 
On thine indifferent feet 

That yearn away to some strange laurelled goal. 
Oh ! She is fallen, yea, and fallen in vain, — 

My once-imperial Soul ! 



"THE WATER O' WEARY WELL" 

" Where have you been, sweetheart, sweetheart, 

since clang of twilight bell ? " 
— a A weary, weary pilgrimage, to the Water o' 

Weary Well." 

<c Now, what so crazed your silken feet, your sump- 
tuous eyes, my bride ? " 

— " The craving of a dreamer's heart, outraged and 
crucified." 

" Were not my kisses charm enough to keep your 

eyelids down ?" 
— " Nay ! — Tho' they sandalled sweet my feet, and 

bright my brows did crown." 



82 THE WATER o' WEARY WELL 

tc I would the feet I sandalled so a sweeter way had 

trod!" 
— (< And yet it was your love of loves compelled me 

to the road." 

u Where did you pause, you wayward child, upon 

the journey vain ? " 
— "By the dim Loch of Tears unwept, by the 

Standing Stones of Pain." 

" What did you at the Weary Well, your travail 

quite fulfilled?" 
— "I stooped, and drank so bitterly, and rose, — 

and I was stilled." 

"O let me lay you in my breast, and hush away 

your pain." 
— " And I was stilled, mine ancient Love ; I shall 

not ache again." 



THE WATER o' WEARY WELL 8$ 

" O Love, Love, Love, but yester-eve I plucked 

your rose supreme." 

— " Oh ! years on years ago it was, — or verily a 

dream !" 



G — 2 



UNREALISED 

Not yet, not yet, Beloved ! 
A delicate sad kiss in passing by, 
Dropt sprays of lily, and a wandering sigh ! 

Forget, forget, Beloved, 

That Love has aught desirable but this, — 
The wistful lilies, the long sigh, the kiss. 
Ah, Sweet, — could Love give aught more strange 
than this ? 

Not yet, not yet, my Dream ! 
O luring perfume, dreaming sigh, faint kiss ! 
That Love could weave another spell than this, 

Forget, forget, my Dream. 



A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN TO HER 
LOVER 

When my heart breaketh with felicity, 

When Love hath overstrung his lute, and when 

Thy dear, dear hands and delicate I draw 

Upon my flickering eyelids till I die ; — 

In olive, oak, nor cedar shut me in, 

Build me a sepulchre of saffron flame. 

Ah ! shall my long fine fingers, made to play 
The king's own virginals, the king's own soul, 
My silk-shod feet that tread such measures out 
Over the crimson roses and the white, — 
O Love ! — my lips, my sombre star-lit eyes, 
So sacro-sancl with kisses that transcend 



86 A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN TO HER LOVER 

All other miracles of life and death, 

By lewd and loathed and burrowing things be 

known ? 
And shall the blindworm ravel and undo 
The love-spun web of that same sumptuous hair 
Thou crownest as with stars, I think ? (Poor gold ! 
It would the longest suffer all that wrong !) 
Shall nameless lives invade my regal peace, 
And play the courtesan — Oh ! in my breast ! — 
Thy garden to thee, Lord of the Lilies ? — No ! 

While violin on violin laments, 
To fire resign me, beautiful, fierce, and pure, 
And fatal as a star, a sword, or Thou. 
Burn me with amber, nard, and albanum 
And passionate myrrh. So, not akin to those 
Who agonise from out the clinging clay, 



A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN TO HER LOVER 87 

Yea, slowly writhe from the dim charnel-house, 
Clogged and impierced by memories obscene ; 
But sifted, plumed, aspirant, followed hard 
By great bright angels, — Flame, and Scent, and 

Sound, 
And Ecstasy, my phoenix soul must pass 
From Splendour to Splendour by the gates of fire. 

• ••••• 

Then in an antique ossuary shed 

The drifted dust, — then bow thine head, and cry : 

w O Love I loved, farewell ! 

Farewell, farewell, for evermore farewell ! " 



MIDSUMMER EVE 

Let Silence with her long pale hands ravish the 
violin : 
Let Reverie with silken snare entoil the dancing 
foot! 
Rumours of antique beauty, love o' stars, and shriven 
sin, 
Die softly out from my tired soul ! That I may 
rest, be mute ! 

That I may rest, be mute ! 

But let some faint and rhythmic voice intone me 
monkish tales 
Of tears occult, and pangs of unendurable 
divorce, — 



MIDSUMMER EVE 89 

Alhambras rainbow-bright made sullen cloisters, — 
scourges, — veils, — 
The great white glimmering tomb of Love, the 
vigil of remorse. 

Foretell the long remorse. 

And oh ! ye lovely wasting eyes, let sleep blindfold 
you well ! 
Peace ! Peace ! Tyrannic heart, what more, what 
more to give have I ? 
Yea ! tired through with love I am, for ever it befell 
That, married to immortal dreams, all mortal 
dreamers die : — 

Of too much beauty die ! 

So, that some silver moons the more Love's torches 
flame for me, 



90 MIDSUMMER EVE 

Give me a night of Lotos. Let the great grey- 
waters quite 
Close over ; and, because my soul has wrought my 
flesh to be 
Like essence, — ghosts and fairies fine alone shall 
touch to-night. 

Oh ! Elfin hands to-night. 



LOVE'S FOOL TO HIS LADY 

Love's Fool am I. To thine imperial court, 
All blue and gold, all music, masque, and sin, 

I bring the fool's own follies for thy sport, — 
Mad silver bells, a subtile mandolin 

To sting thy sated hours with quaint remorse, 

And sad fidelities to strew the course 

Like pansies, where thy perverse feet pass by. 
Love's Fool am I. 

Love's Fool am I. For I believe thee filled 
With loving-kindness, though my life is poured 

In blood and tears for thee ; and splendid-willed, 
And pure, albeit thou slayest as a sword. 



92 LOVES FOOL TO HIS LADY 

Illusion is my livery ? — What though ? 
Art thou not what I dream ? God meant thee so ! 
Fools overhear His sorrow, sigh on sigh, — 
Love's Fool am I. 

Love's Fool am I. Ah ! if thy regal eyes 

Drop me no love-stars, yet they shall be lit 
With laughter all for me. (Say not the wise 

That Melancholy-mad hath rarest wit ?) 
Then songs I'll sing thee, wrought with rimes 

bizarre, 
And all sweet lapses in crazed thought that are, 
Till I surprise the tears that purify. 
Love's Fool am I. 

Love's Fool am I. — Shall not thy Doomsday break? 
Shall not the golden dragons of thy seat 



LOVES FOOL TO HIS LADY 93 

Writhe in the dust ; and lovers all forsake, — 

Yea, rend the purple from thy shoulders sweet, 
And drive thee to the desert. I alone, 
Oh ! I the Fool will follow thee, unknown, 
To kiss thy frantic fingers till thou die ; — 
Love's Fool am I. 



RENUNCIATION 

On the lifted Rood thy Days have hewn, 

Sweet Soul, be crucified. 
Yield the soft palm to the piercing nails 

And bare the beating side. 

Now change thee the love-stars in thine eyes, 

And thy roses twined in vain, 
For the upward stare of agony, 

And the aubespine of pain. 

O feet that sought the forest-paths 

Cross over patiently : 
O lips that the red red wines have stained 

Be moistened bitterly. 



RENUNCIATION 95 

The moon and the stars the torches were 

To thy strange sweet mysteries ; 
And God was the Lord of thy wedding-feast, — 

For this, O Love, for this ! 



LEFT IN LIFE 

I. 

I would not have thee know the tears I weep. 
The cold corroding vigils that I keep, 
And the dim-scarlet fainting dreams of sleep, 
I would not have thee know. 

Like burning embers lie upon my breast 
Those memories. Soon, soon (and it is best !) 
The heart must flame and break. — Sweet be thy 
rest ! 

I would not have thee know. 

How grace by grace my beauty wears away, 
How daily deeper in the miry clay 
Time tramples Love and me — I pray, I pray 
That thou shalt never know. 



LEFT IN LIFE 

II. 

It is a dream. What then ? Are dreams untrue ? 
Dreams were our angels when I walked by you. 

It is a dream ! But this is you, I know. 

O Love, Love, Love, how could you leave me so ? 

A dream ! But may I never lift my face 
From this undying passion of embrace ! 

Look how my robes are rended and unstarred. 
Yea ! I am bleeding, trodden down, and marred. 

For since you went and left me all alone, 
Not one of all the world but casts a stone. 



98 LEFT IN LIFE 

But fast my beauty flowers beneath this rain 

Of tender tears. I am a queen again. 

Awake, awake ! The great Dream-Jester stands. 
Pleased with the folly of thy straining hands. 



OUTWORN 

Between the winds and the steadfast stars 

Are there no quiet ways 
Where the soul may swoon for evermore 

Through the dim pure nights and days r 

Where never a sound or a scent can float, 
Where never a dream can win 

Of the passion of tears and travail past, 
Of the love, and the pain, and sin ? 



H 2 



AN OCTOBER AFTERNOON 

Never again 

The world all gold, 
Repured and cold, 
And^carved like a great brazen incense cup ! 

To gods of old 
This rare barbaric perfume riseth up 
Never again. 

Never again 
Yon sorceries 
May burn the trees 
That on the green horizon dream to death. 

Rich tears like these 
Upon your lids : upon my lip such breath 
Never again ! 



THE SUPREME WISH 

I. 

God give you joy, I said, — and joy you had. 

But how the the dancing tired 
Your subtile feet ! — and from the pageant glad 

Your eyes most uninspired 
Wearily turned toward the wistful West : — 

So now, God give you rest. 

II. 

God give you love, I said, — and love's delight 

Deep-dyed your purple eyes : — 
But now, vague Soul, that wanderest careless quite 

Of where the censers rise, 



102 PJE SUPREME WISH 

With listless lips and hands, and flaming breast, — 
I pray, God give you rest. 

III. 

God give you rest, my queen. No earthly flowers 

Upon that golden hair 
Can lightly lie, no low love-song of ours 

But tires you to despair. 
God crown you softly with His lilies blest, 

O Sweet, God give you rest ! 



DEAD 

I. 

If I hearken at your grave 

Will you speak ? 
Will the sudden crimson wave 

Tint your cheek ? 
Will your pulse begin to beat, 
And your lip to quiver, sweet, 
With the dreamy silver phrase 
Of our dreamy lover-days, 
If I speak ? 

II. 

For your passion would embalm 

(So you said) 
Lids and fingers carven calm, 

Pale and dead. 



104 DEAD 

Like a sacred orange-flower, 
Pluckt one meditative hour, 
You would wait, a pensive bride, 
Till they brought me to your side, 
— So you said. 

III. 

But I dare not hearken so, 

Queen of Rest ! 
Where the holy lilies grow 

From your breast; — 
For the silences immure 
All your reveries death-pure, 
While I sicken with the sin 
Of the world I wander in, 
Soul at rest ! 



DEAD 105 

IV. 

So I labour to forget 

How the road 
Wins through petals blue and wet 

Your abode ; — 
How an agony supreme 
Yet shall break your bridal dream, 
When they bear my body stained 
To your beauty unprofaned, 

By that road. 



AUTUMN-SONG 

The roads are laid with cloth-of-gold ; 

And o'er the splendour, all alone, 
Clad fair in scarlet, like a king, 

Love cometh to his own. 

A crown of thorns, a sceptral reed, 
The beauty of a flaming throne ! 

From out the pleasant orchard-lands 
Love cometh to his own. 



SAINT MARY OF THE FLOWERS' 

Meet me at Saint Mary of the Flowers'. 

Art thou tired as I ? At evenfall 
Meet me at Saint Mary of the Flowers.' 

Ringing ancient rimes the far bells call ! 
There we sundered. Folly infinite ! 
Ringing rimes of mercy, hear them call. 

From a world of lilies red and white, 
Once by legendary angels trod, — 
(O my pain is red, my love is white !) 

Towers like great sword-lilies up to God 

Triumph. Lo ! Saint Mary of the Flowers', 
All her spires upringing unto God ! 



108 ST. MARY OF THE FLOWERS 

Meet me at Saint Mary of the Flowers'. 

Love is very great at evenfall : 
Therefore meet me mid the abbey-flowers. 

In the twilight Love remembers all. 

Is God wroth with such a wasted day ? 
" Oh ! the bleeding hearts ! — Forgive them all. 

" Count their pangs, poor children ! " Love will say. 

All the West is dewy apple-green. 
Pray a little ; rise and come away. 

Underneath the tender apple-green, 

They shall bring us royally on biers : 
They shall couch us like a king and queen. 

Neither kisses, O my Love, nor tears 

Shall we mingle in the Field of Flowers : 
(O the olden kisses, and the tears !) 



ST. MARY OF THE FLOWERS IO9 

Yet at sweet Saint Mary of the Flowers' 

Subtly shall we be at one at last, 
Resting at Saint Mary of the Flowers'. 

Leave unto the locusts what is past. 
Meet me at Saint Mary of the Flowers'. 



SPRING 

Love, as the Resurrection Angel, goes 
To the low Sepulchre one watcher knows. 

" Of Easter-lilies I am lord :" Love saith, 

" O Sleeper, I have ransomed thee from death. 

" O Dreamer, she is very tired. Arise 

And kiss the night of weeping from her eyes." 

But Love the Easter-Angel calls in vain. — 

Vain, seven times vain the seven-fold spells of pain ! 

Or is the chamber void ? Is the Soul risen 
From out the passionate spices of the prison ? — 

Immortal kisses, falling soft as sighs, 

Will never staunch the tears of mortal eyes. 



REQUIESCAT 

I digged thy grave in my memory 

Years ago, — oh ! years ago ! — 
And for oblivion over thee 

The poppies grow, the poppies grow. 
But still, when Hesperus is high, 
Pansies for thoughts I drop thereby, 
And let them lie, and let them lie, 
Since from thy bitter I drew sweet. 
Yet are the pansies at thy feet, 
The pansies pale thy head above 
Not sown of Love, not sown of Love. 



FRAGMENT 

Love hath fetters on his feet. — 

Never speak of these. 
Love must use his knotted scourge, 
Crouched upon his knees. 
Let him alone. We must be still to-day. 
Love is at penance. Go apart and pray. 



PREVISION 

While all the dancing days that pass 
Take oath we cannot die, 

Alas ! Alas ! green grows the grass 
Whereunder you must lie. 

A golden Knight, sans fear or peer, 

Lord Love great challenge saith : — 

The hooded year is moving near 

That strikes my heart with death. 

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust ! 

O bitterness thereof! 
The sons of Lust, they moulder. Must 

So fare the sons of Love ? 



SLEEP-SONG 

The sunken bell is ringing up through the sea of 
sleep. 

Ah ! can you hear it, 
And not fear it, 
Mine own bright sea-bird winging down through 
the sea of sleep ? 

There's many a strange mermaiden beneath the sea 
of sleep ; 

And drowned white hands 

Upon the sands, 
And argosies unfaden beneath the sea of sleep. 



SLEEP-SONG 115 

But they that sink together down through the sea 
of sleep, 

In one dream charmed 

Lie unharmed. — 
Love, if we sank together beneath the sea of sleep ! 



1—2 



THE WAITING ANGEL 

We are leaning through the roses 
Mid the thrill of the sweet closes 

Of our tender violing. 
Up and down, up and down 
All the ways of our dream-town, 

Round a dragon-crested King, 
Ride the noble knights of old, 
All in azure, green, and gold. 
We two cast them our dream-roses 
Mid the sweetness of the closes 

Of our tender violing. 

But I know, behind the star-lit 
Dusk of emerald, a scarlet 



THE WAITING ANGEL 117 

Strange Archangel brooding stands. 
Waiting still, waiting still, 
Gazing with a mournful will 

At the sword within his hands. 
Through the delicate green light 
Winds the Pomp of our delight : 
But I know behind the star-lit 
Dusk of emerald, a scarlet 

Angel lifts his armed hands. 

But when all the stars are weeping, 
When my Well-beloved lies sleeping 

Softly I shall rise and go. 
I shall wrestle with that dread 
Angel of the bended head. 

" Death ! Oh Death ! Thy name I know. 
Mock me not that I am frail. 



Il8 THE WAITING ANGEL 

I am Love: I must prevail 
Here, where all the stars are weeping. 5 
When the Well-Beloved lies sleeping, 
Surely I shall rise and go. 



THE IMMORTAL HOUR 

Still as great waters lying in the West, 

So is my spirit still. 
I lay my folded hands within Thy breast, 

My will within Thy will. 
O Fortune, idle pedlar, pass me by. 
O Death, keep far from me who cannot die. 
The passion-flowers are lacing o'er the sill 
Of my low door. — As dews their sweetness fill. 

So do I rest in Thee. 
It is mine hour. Let none set foot therein. 
It is mine hour unflawed of pain or sin. 
'Tis laid and steeped in silence, till it be 
A solemn dazzling crystal, to outlast 
And storm the eyes of poets when long-past 
Is all the changing dream of Thee and Me. 



REVERIES 



SPRING 

Round the green-kindling hawthorn hill, 

Upon the Path of Daffodil, 

Before the morning star was set, 

A pomp of grave Greek girls I met : 

And, like the florets of the Way, 

Of gleaming pearl and amber they 

Were wrought. Upon their bounden hair 

Pale urns of noble curve they bare. 

" Oh ! Whither ?" said I, " Wander ye, 
Most beautiful Canephori ? 
To what great Temple go ye up, 
Cupbearers of what mystic cup ? 



124 SPRING 

For what sweet god has each gold head 
Its dainty curls white-filleted ? 
What virgin pleasures do ye bring 
Unto the triumph of the Spring ?" 

One turned her head and answered me : 
<c We know not what our burdens be, 
Nor to what temple go we up 
To pour strange wine from graven Cup ; 
But the young god of our desire 
Shall draw our feet before they tire 
To His great House of gold and white 
Where all the rites are mere delight." 

She spake. The frieze of daffodil, 
Of mingled flowers and maidens, still 
Girdled the glad white-flowering hill. 



THE HOSTEL OF SLEEP 

'Tis the Hostel of Sleep. Come in, come in ! 

Are ye spent and bleeding and shamed and cold ? 
Have they wronged you, Scholar? — Fair young 
Knight, 

Are you quite despoiled of your arms of gold ? 
Yet here is a mazer-cup for you, 
And a great kind bed in the Chamber Blue. 

'Tis the Hostel of Sleep. Come in, come in ! 

Ah ! There was many an ambush set ! 
Lover and foe they have hurt you sore. 

Lover and foe shall you now forget, 
For the moons and poppies woven through 
The arras rare of the Chamber Blue. 



126 THE HOSTEL OF SLEEP 

'Tis the Hostel of Sleep. Come in, come in ! 

Passionate Pilgrim, swooning-pale, 
Loose the fardel and kiss the Cup, 

For here is the end of every tale. 
Only the things of peace are true. 
There is fire on the hearth of the Chamber Blue. 

'Tis the Hostel of Sleep. Come in, come in ! 

Strong it is like an olden keep : 
The Sign of the Star is over all, 

With the Water of Dreams it is moated deep : 
And the Host himself will warden you 
As you lie at rest in the Chamber Blue. 



TO FORTUNE 

When I am old, all things I will endure; 
But now, now, now, while I am young and pure, 
Give me my portion of delight ; and so 
But let me go. 

When I am old and tired I shall not care 
How many reveries I must outwear ; — 
But to the soul as young as April rain, 
Less pain, less pain ! 

Then roses, roses for the fragrant hair, 
And wedding torches for the ringers fair, 
And love, love, love, for the unbroken heart, 
The perfecl heart. 



128 TO FORTUNE 

When I am old, o'er leagues of sad unrest 
I shall go softly ; — hiding in my breast 
Some gorgeous dream of youth, until I meet 
The Grey Friend sweet. 



DEATH 

Mater Nostra 

Mine is the kiss of motherhood. Why fear 
The dusky regal splendour of my brows ? 
As some great queen of persecuted house 

With many a lingering yearning kiss and tear 

Confides to lowly arms her princeling dear, 
Until the imperious martial music rouse 
The land to memory of its ancient vows, — 

With Life, thy foster-nurse, I hid thee here. 

Now would I wean thee softly from this Past 
That wrongs the erstwhile playmate of the stars ; 

K 



I 30 DEATH 

Forget those low dim hills, those pale pent 
skies. 
Hail ! thou hast heired the Infinite at last ; 

And kingly pleasures wait thee, kingly wars. — 
Come, gather godhead from my nearer eyes. 



FALLEN 

I. 

The leaves of the lilies are lying 

Low on the soiling ways, 
And the lover-winds denying 
With moans their early praise, 
With tears their early praise, 
O hide their shame 
From the morning flame ! — 

God gathers all 
At the evenfall. 

II. 

The leaves of the soul are lying 
Stained in the underwood, 



132 FALLEN 

And the winds o' the world decrying 
Their lost sweet maidenhood, 
Their dreamy maidenhood. 
Hide them away 
From the sun-lit day ! — 

God gathers all 
At the even fall. 



THREE FATES 

I. 

O Dreamer, follow fast the Star 
Adown yon wild green West: 

Within the still green water-world 
They charm your place of rest. 

A white mermaiden softly coils 

The linked melody 
Shall draw you down like chains of pearl 

Beneath the lighted sea. 

What rumours of Eternity, 

What old old dreams and new! 

With coral and with ambergris 
The couch is flowered for you. 



134 THREE FATES 

II. 
O Masquer, are you loth Love Sleep 

Should kiss your eyelids close ? 
Yet, as you dance, the good earth-god 
Takes thought for your repose. 

Somewhere beneath the kindly dust, 
Made sweet with thyme and rue, 

Under a springing cypress-plant 
A bed is made for you. 

Dance on, and sing. But, softly weaned 
From sunlight and from dew, 

The great sad roses early die 
To make thi bed for you. 

III. 
O Lover, for the maze of doom 



Is thine the golden clue ? 



THREE FATES 1 35 

Down by the sullen alder-pool 
The wood is grown for you. 

Across the black and freshening field, 

Beneath the bitter blue, 
A Sower swings his rhythmic hands. 

Hempseed is sown for you. 

What matter — if the love of Love 

Be coft with all the shame ! 
By water, land, or giddy air 

The sleep is much the same ! 



A PRAYER TO DEATH 

For one who suffered too long 

O God's archangel, tarriest thou so late ? 

Now would we hear the dreamy winnowing, 

Now see the dreamy silver of thy wing. 
Hark while we pray, life's bondsmen passionate. 
— Yon soul with tears and travail satiate, 

Softly redeem from long long suffering. 

Fierce as this intercession that we bring 
His bitter need ; and, as thy beauty, great. 

O thou who gatherest to thy yearning breast 
Young spirits newly wedded with delight, 
Lest their bright bridal-blossom spoil and fail,- 
Must pity one so prostrate and so pale 
With utter pain, — must snatch him to his right,- 
Exquisite silences, forgotten rest. 



"WHOM THE GODS LOVE— DIE 
YOUNG" 

I. 

How wild were they, at break of day, 

Fulfilled of dream and dew 3 
The daisies young they pluckt and strung 

Across their robes of blue ; 
The glad white feet, through dances sweet 

A silver glory grew. 

II. 

How soft they sighed ere eventide, 

Fulfilled of Eros' best ! 
Each golden head, unfilleted, 

The charm of sleep confest. 
They sprang like flowers; like folding flowers 

God gathered them to rest. 



BODY AND SOUL. 

The spirit is a spotless doe that haunts 

The vast, pure woods of God. Thro* her 

domain 
She feels the calm sweet days unsullied wane, 

And white dream-Dryads are her ministrants. 

And, thro' the flattered leaves the love-light slants, 
— Till suddenly shrieks her softly-slumbering pain. 
The hounds o' the flesh are on the trail again, 

And on, on, on, the sobbing quarry pants. 

Who is the Hunter that unleashed the pack ? 

Was it a god's strange heart the sport designed ? 
She only knows He cannot call them back : 

That only to the flaming hour she flies 

When the last shameful agony shall blind 
The accusation of her hunted eyes. 



TO THE BOUND CAPTIVE IN THE 
LOUVRE. 

I. 

Yea ! all the beauty of sorrow, like a crown, 
All sorrow of beauty, like a crown of thorn, 
Genius of dreaming things, by thee is borne ! 

Shall not the brooding languors loading down 

The bounden lovely breast, like veils that drown 
The faintly-striving limbs, be sloughed and torn ? 
And shall it soon be waking and red morn, 

And plague and fire in delicate Florence town ? 

O Hylas-beauty, poignant, perilous, 

O luring, yearning curves of throat and chin, 
Whereby is written Love's desire, Love's dread ! 
Whose captive art thou ? What sarcophagus 
Holds thee its victim, and thy darker Twin, 
Immortals thralled for ever to the Dead. 



140 TO THE BOUND CAPTIVE 

II. 

Immortal beauty and immortal pain, 
Terror and mystery and dream fulfil 
This archetypal bondsman. — Strive thou till 

Thy swoon is rent, thy Passion is all vain, 

And in thy trance thou knowest it is vain. 

Oh ! let the drug of dreams, then, work its will 
The Bondsman and his bonds must marry still, 

The Spirit and the Flesh be one and twain. 

See ! Interwoven in the fatal knot, 

Confounded as a bridegroom with the bride, 
The beauty of the soul would rend and flee 
The beauty of the body. Ah ! let be ! 
For God Himself the mortal tangle tied, 
And how to loose He hath Himself forgot. 






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